Alcatel-Lucent, the marriage of European and US telephone equipment manufacturers, has completed a study of global youth, asking them “how’d you like to leave your leather wallet at home and have an e-wallet on your mobile handset?” The response was the not so stunning “what’s a leather wallet?” Just kidding. But finding a strong preference for the mobile-based approach is no surprise at this point. Mercator’s own primary consumer research has been showing that for a couple of years.
One of the findings of the report is a willingness by youth to actually pay for a mobile wallet service. That’s a self-serving result that may have a kernel of truth in it but that kind of revenue stream is vulnerable to other, lower cost alternatives. The company’s video demo of its m-wallet application shows interesting capability if not a particularly elegant user experience. But that’s the kind of thing Alcatel-Lucent’s giant customers would improve upon using software tools from the telco supplier.
Alcatel-Lucent finally reported a profit in the third quarter of this year after what has nearly been years of losses. Despite shortage constraints on its growth (amazing how many basic silicon parts have been in short supply this past year), it’s no wonder the company is looking to software to drive demand. Software on mobiles will be the attention-grabbing, consumer-attracting and, from the point of view of its carrier customers, ARPU-driving element.
Consumers, especially those in the youth market, confirmed strong interest in using their mobile phones as a wallet, according to a recent poll by Alcatel-Lucent.
The study, conducted by Alcatel-Lucent with members of its Youth Lab over a two-week period this summer, indicated that 81 percent showed a strong interest in the service and 89 percent would be willing to pay a monthly fee.
Most notable in the survey results was the appeal of application scenarios and the ability for these applications to save time. The option to “Buy a movie ticket without needing to wait in line” was the most appealing to respondents. Seventy-five percent were interested in “location-based coupons” and “profile-based coupons.”